At A Glance
The flat pedal shoe market is not the most diverse, dominated by one very big brand, and very few others. Attempts from other companies have come and gone, but this year Vaude thought they would give it a go, using all of their experience in creating solid and dependable outdoor kit to produce their take on the ultimate flat pedal shoe.Buy Shoes on
As always with a Vaude product it has been meticulously thought out and produced to the highest ecological and ethical standards around. However, all that would go out the window if the performance wasn't there. These shoes feature a Vibram sole, with a smooth mid sole and more aggressive tread pattern on the toe and heel to allow for good walking grip. The uppers are leather and have been treated to repel some, but not all water. True to form, the laces are made from recycled PET and the lining and insole use 50% recycled material in their construction.
The overall look is one of ruggedness and robustness, with solid construction and functional styling
On The Trail
The most striking thing about the Moabs is when you put them on and feel the inside of the heel. Like a rough, futuristic suede, it is smooth in one direction and grippy in another, designed to prevent heel lift by allowing the heel to slide into the shoe yet resist upward movement. Does it work? Well, that's hard to tell as the overall fit is very good, and held my foot well with very little heel lift, but maybe that's all down to the heel gripper...
With fit sorted, it all really comes down to pedal grip and feel, without which they would be nothing. Grip level is good, but not quite at the levels of some of the competition. The smooth Vibram sole makes the most of the rubber, but isn't quite as grippy as Stealth rubber for example. Pedal choice made a big difference, and I found I needed to use a more aggressive pedal to be totally happy with these shoes as sub-standard pedals really struggled to hold onto the Vibram soles when it mattered. With a good set of pedals, preferably with threaded pins for extra bite, they did a great job.
Where these shoes really come into their own is in the build quality, as they have proudly stood up to some serious abuse with absolutely no sign of giving up. The sole has remained firmly attached, and the stiffness, in both directions through the sole, has remained throughout the test. The lacing system and Velcro closure is solid and keeps the laces out of the way when pedalling with minimal fuss. The more aggressive portions of the sole work very well whilst walking and hiking with the bike and although I predicted some slippy moments with the smooth mid sole, these rarely occurred.
If you prefer a less locked-in feel with your flat pedals, and like the ability to re-position with ease, then the Moabs do a superb job of providing enough grip, with a stiff and sturdy sole. The quality of the manufacture is excellent and I have no doubt these will last a very long time, which can be rare in mountain bike shoes. Couple this with Vaude's fantastic attention to reducing their impact on people and the environment and you have a real winner.
By Ewen TurnerEwen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.